Ironworkers are great Americans who literally built America. By the late 1880s, wood and stone supported bridges and buildings were replaced by steel as the primary load-carrying material. Out of this building revolution, a new worker was born, the ironworker. Ironworkers risked their lives to build the backbone of this country, whether in New York City skyscrapers or bridges that supported the roads and ultimately the highways for cars. In order to get fair employment treatment, ironworkers united, forming the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers of America in 1896 in Pittsburgh, which is appropriate since that is where Andrew Carnegie was.
Carnegie assembled the most extensive integrated iron and steel operations ever owned by an individual in the United States. He did this by the cheap and efficient mass production of steel using the Bessemer process for steel making. Sir Henry Bessemer had invented the furnace, which allowed the high carbon content of pig iron to be burnt away in a controlled and rapid way. Secondly, Carnegie controlled the supply of raw materials for making steel through railroads and shipping. In 1901 he sold his Carnegie Steel Company to JP Morgan who created US Steel, then the largest company on earth, and making Carnegie the richest man in the country. Carnegie devoted himself to philanthropy, giving away money to many causes, but perhaps most notably the creation of 2,509 Carnegie libraries around the world, including 1,689 in the US of which 63 are in Wisconsin!
None of this generosity, which has impacted millions of people in all fields of work, would have been possible without the sweat and effort of thousands of ironworkers who made Carnegie’s fortune possible. Carnegie was smart, disciplined and certainly fortunate. But he had strong partners, the foundry men, railroad workers, shipbuilders, and especially the ironworkers.
At McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin we represent ironworkers who work on bridges like the Hoan Bridge, highway projects including the Zoo Interchange and Marquette Interchange, structural steel such as Miller Park and the Bradley Center, ornamental and architectural building projects for office towers and hotels, and wherever else ironworkers are needed to build something. We are proud to be attorneys for union ironworkers and do so as they provide for their families, through hard work and dedicated focus. When an ironworker injures his neck or low back on the job, McCormick Law Office makes sure the law is there to stand up for him and there are workers compensation benefits available. Whether hurt in a single lifting accident or from job duties over years, workers comp should be there to cover a neck or low back injury. Believe in better.